Motörhead – Motörizer (2008, SPV)
- Runaround Man
- Teach You How To Sing The Blues
- Where The Eagle Screams
- Rock Out
- One Short Life
- Buried Alive
- English Rose
- Back On The Chain
- Time Is Right
- The Thousand Names Of God
Lemmy Kilmister – Vocals & Bass
Phil Campbell – Guitars
Mikkey Dee – Drums
Producer: Cameron Webb
Total Time = 39:04
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(NOTE: The album cover has changed and the four skeletons have been taken out. This is the first Motörhead album cover that does not feature the work of artist Joe Petagno)
The release of MOTÖRIZER marks Motörhead’s 20th studio album. Think about that for a minute…..since 1975, Motörhead has released twenty studio albums. Talk about longevity! Without attaining platinum success, Motörhead has always maintained the same basic successful formula for making Heavy Metal music: play loud, fast, hard, and nasty. So what does Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell, & Mikkey Dee have in store on MOTÖRIZER? Well, basically the same thing they’ve done for over 30 years: pure, hard Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Two things of note right away: Mikkey Dee is still a powerhouse behind the drum kit with that pounding attack and Phil Campbell is a guitarist that no one ever talks about as one of the greats. His buzzsaw sound is as prominent as ever but he also has more great solos on this album. Lemmy always gets a ton of press and credit of course, he IS the band and he is a Metal icon, but there would be a very different Motörhead without Phil & Mikkey.
The first song is ‘Runaround Man’ that kicks off the album in high gear with it’s driving beat and guitars along with Lemmy’s unmistakable growl. Same thing can be said for ‘Teach You How To Sing The Blues’ and ‘When The Eagle Screams’ but both of these songs seem “slower”. Both are still fast rockers but the arrangement gives both a less frantic pace. The band has finally made a sequel to the classic ‘Ace Of Spades’ with ‘Rock Out’ even if the song’s title sounds a bit too cliché. ‘Rock Out’ has a very similar main riff and drum pattern to it’s 28 year old counterpart and it also has probably the clearest vocal Lemmy put on this album. It’s a good fun song that reminds me of the classic early days of the band, only Lemmy can get away with the line “Rock out, with your cock out!”…..priceless! It does sound a little clean, not as dirty as the other songs so far. I’m surprised this wasn’t chosen as the first single (‘Runaround Man’ was), it just seems like the logical choice.
The band stops the pummelling for a heavy Blues groove on ‘One Short Life’ but the song seems to run on and on without really going anywhere. There’s always one of these slower methodical plodders on a Motörhead record so it’s expected. ‘Buried Alive’ re-starts the assault with some inspired drumming from Mikkey and a solid, almost ’80s styled, solo break from Phil. The main guitar riff is a buzzsaw, add Lemmy’s bass on top and it’s really cuts. Lemmy starts ‘English Rose’ with a quick vocal intro without instruments…..man, does he sound like he gargles with Drano! ‘English Rose’ has a, dare I say, melodic feel to it. It definitely sounds a bit dated but all Motörhead songs sound that way because they never deviate from their formula. I like it, I’d pair it with ‘Rock Out’ for that “old school”/’80s trip back in time. ‘Back On The Chain’ sounds like the band has found a more modern direction but all I can think of is Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)and Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age), this is a song they would put out!
‘Heroes’ is a song about war for the many who have served in the armed forces. It’s another plodding mid-paced (for Motörhead) number that really has some great guitar work on it while Lemmy sounds as rough as he ever has when he tries to blend in his “melodic” style with his spoken word gruffness. The chorus is a bit too simple but this really isn’t rocket science, simple and basic works well for Motörhead. The pace speeds up again with ‘Time Is Right’ but it sounds all too familiar, it’s been done before. The closer is one of the best on the record…..’The Thousand Names Of God’ has a thick main riff, with a few squeals from Campbell here and there. Lemmy’s vocal is really gritty and the lyrics offer Lemmy’s classic turn of phrase and wit.
A Motörhead album is a Motörhead album, there really isn’t much difference between all of them. The music is a serious blend of Punk, Metal, and Blues with buzzing guitars, solid drumming, and that hard bass sound. Add Lemmy’s scratchy vocals with lyrics filled with wit, humor, and social commentary and you get the usual brand of dirty Rock ‘n Roll that the band has created since 1975. MOTÖRIZER is a solid album that has a couple of fillers but sounds fresh overall. It’s hard to sound fresh when you do the same thing almost every time but Motörhead’s indifference to change is what makes it all sound so good, just like AC/DC.
Favorite Songs: ‘English Rose’, ‘Rock Out’, ‘The Thousand Names Of God’, ‘Buried Alive’